Photographs of three Mi-28N attack helicopters spotting Ugandan markings has recently surfaced suggesting that the country is acquiring the type.
Details on the Mi-28N acquisition remain sketchy, as Uganda is not known to be in negotiations with Russia for the helicopter. Three Mi-28s were seen at Entebbe Air Base on 15 June during a visit by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. An additional three airframes are said to be en route to the country, according to a military insider.
In January this year, Uganda commisioned a new helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Nakasongala Air Base in preparation for the arrival of the Mi-28 Night Hunter.
Although, Uganda flies around five Mil Mi-24 Hind gunships, a cousin of the more capable Mi-28N helicopter. The East African country recently increased its defence spending to step up to it’s neighbor and regional rival Kenya, amid a new arms race in the region.
Between 2012 and 2021, Uganda’s military expenditure rose by 203 percent, and it’s military expenditure reached Sh123.1 billion ($1.066 billion) last year, an 8.3 percent increase from Sh113.7 billion ($984.7 million) in 2020.
The Mi-28 Havoc combat helicopter was developed by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and it’s Unit cost is around $18 million. It made its first flight in 1982.
The Mi-28 can be armed with a mixture of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, unguided rockets, and podded guns.
The Mi-28 and Mi-28N Night Havoc are armed with Shturm and Ataka anti-tank missiles supplied by the Kolumna Design Bureau (KBM). Up to 16 anti-tank missiles can be mounted on the helicopter. Shturm is a short-range, radio command-guided missile.
The Mi-28 has a fully armoured cabin, including the windshield.
The helicopter is equipped with a turreted 2A42 30mm cannon, stabilised in two axes, with a muzzle velocity of 1,000m/s.
Mi-28 can fly at a maximum speed of 300km/h, can fly rearwards and sideways at speeds up to 100km/h and is able to hover turn at 45° a second.
The Mi-28 attack helicopter is in use by Algeria, Russia, and Iraq.